Petrino to pick Jackson as Knapp’s successor

property of Bengals.com The latest word out of Cincinnati indicates that Bengals receivers coach Hue Jackson is the likely successor to Greg Knapp as Falcons offensive coordinator. Jackson coached with new Falcons head man Bobby Petrino for two seasons at Arizona State (1992-93), a staff that also included current Lions head coach Rod Marinelli. Jackson took over the Bengals receivers in 2004, and has developed what many consider the premier trio of wideouts in the NFL in Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chris Henry. Jackson’s exact role as offensive coordinator is unknown, as many suspect Petrino himself will be the primary play-caller, but his experience and knowledge, especially in game preparation would be invaluable.

It would not mark Jackson’s first time as an offensive coordinator. He served in that role for four seasons at Southern California, under coaches John Robinson and Paul Hackett. He also served in that same capacity during the lone year that Steve Mariucci was the head coach at California in 1996. His experience with Hackett and Mariucci indicate his strong West Coast roots, which could be a strong base as quarterbacks Michael Vick and Matt Schaub try to transition into Petrino’s offense.

Jackson’s first shot in the NFL came as running backs coach for the Washington Redskins for two seasons (2001-02). He was then promoted to offensive coordinator in 2003, the final season in which Steve Spurrier was there. Jackson took over play-calling from Spurrier in November of that season.

Jackson was a quarterback at Pacific, a dual threat, throwing for 2544 yards and rushing for 919. He became a graduate assistant there in 1987, and worked as receivers and running back coaches the following years. He served as running backs and special teams coach at Cal State-Fullerton in 1990 and 1991. In the spring o 1991, he joined the London Monarchs coaching staff in the World League, its inaugural season, where he worked with the teams running backs, receivers, and special teams. In 1992, he served as running backs coach at Arizona State, where he teamed with Petrino, who was then the quarterbacks coach. He took over for Petrino as quarterbacks coach in 1995, where he continued to develop current Broncos passer Jake Plummer.

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Aaron Freeman

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